After the promise of Game 1 and the electricity of Game 3 , the Winnipeg Jets’ season ended last night with a thud under the bright lights of the strip in Las Vegas.
There were glimmers of urgency, determination and grit throughout the series. The performances of Adam Lowry, Neal Pionk, Morgan Barron will forever be etched in the memories of Jets’ fans, but an exit after just 10 days is far too soon — particularly for a team, like this, that showed such promise in the regular season.
But there’s a cautionary tale to be told here.
Sure, the team was competitive vs. the Golden Knights. The games were exciting, but don’t be blinded by what could have happened. Remember what did happen. And please, please don’t cite the injuries to Nik Ehlers, Josh Morrissey and Mark Scheifele as the reason the Jets are out. When you look back, you can be nostalgic, but you have to look forward now.
And when you look forward, you have to be cold-hearted. Don’t be blinded by “what ifs.”
We’re taking you live to postgame interviews with players and head coach Rick Bowness https://t.co/rMYaTBODUE
— Winnipeg Jets (@NHLJets) April 28, 2023
Is this team good enough to win a Stanley Cup? Not a playoff game or a series, but the Cup? Is it? Really? Is the core strong enough, with enough character, to bring a championship to this great city? Is it? Really?
I am aware the body is still warm, but the autopsy has to happen sooner than later, and it won’t be easy to make difficult decisions, but those decisions have to be made.
Should Dubois be re-signed? Will he want to be here? Wheeler and Schiefele have been here a long time. But when is a long time too long?
Those are tough questions to ask and answer. And trust me, there will be more. That’s what championship teams do: they ask the tough questions and get the correct answers.
This off-season will be a true test for Jets’ management, and failing that test is not an option.
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